Monday, October 22, 2007

DAY 15: Albany to Pallinup Rest Area

122 km @ 21.2 km/hr
Good tailwind

Last evening while Dan and Paula were in Perth George turned up at the house. George Brown is also cycling around Oz and was a few days ahead of me, however on his arrival in Esperance he discovered that there would be nowhere to watch the Rugby world cup final between England and South Africa tonight. He therefore decided to hire a car and return the 480 km or so from Esperance to Albany, and duly arrived around 2200 last night. It was the first time we’d met in person although we have conversed by telephone and via cycling websites regarding our plans to cross the Nullabor together.
Things hadn’t quite gone to plan for George though - unfortunately he hit a kangaroo in the dark and half-demolished the front of the hire car - it was a real mess and clearly not driveable any further.
Anyhow that drama aside we had a good blather over a rum and coke and both retired since our hosts were not expected back until the middle of the night.
This morning then I was ready for off at 0730 and George cycled to the bakery with me and we had a pie brewakfast. I happily noted a moderate westerly which should blow me along nicely.
G and I parted at the outskirts of the town, to meet up again in a few days. I was indeed enjoying a decent tailwind and with little effort was cruising at around 25-30 km/hr - woohoo!
Every silver lining has a cloud though, and my digestive system was protesting about some indescretion or other - in short I had the trots. Not sure why as i have been very careful about water and food - something wasn’t right somewhere though. Happily this did not spoil my day unduly as I managed to find a dunny whenever I really needed one.
Before long I was approaching 100 km after only 4 hours or so, but prior to this I had a nice surprise when a couple in a motorhome pulled alongside and offered me some fresh fruit - yes please! People are very kind sometimes, and I devoured an orange with gusto. At exactly 100km I reached Wellstead Roadhouse and enjoyed some toast and jam and a pot of tea.
I carried on after this since there was still a good tailwind, and would have gladly gone on to 150km but I came across a really nice rest area by the river, and decided to stay the night. There were a few motorhomers in too and we compared notes for a while. Only downside was the unwanted attention of some giant ants - didn’t like the look of them at all, and I tried to make sure none got in the tent to take a piece out of me later.
I went down to the river as the sun went down, and it was quite beautiful with the small birds swooping around to catch insects, and the sun dappled the tops of the trees with a rainbow backdrop just for good measure.
After a pasta and spicy sausage dinner made on the camp stove I lay listening to the silence before falling into a deep sleep.

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